Its going to be 100 degrees today and luckily I’m home to help the chickens make it through the day. They have already made it through the last two days of 96 degrees. They are very tough birds! But then again I picked Rhode Island Reds because they are known to tolerate both extreme hot and cold. And today they made it to 100 degrees and still managed to chase bugs without skipping a beat! Impressive!
Last year, with the old flock, I made frozen treats with berries. RIP old flock that had a run in with a fox. I admit, we snacked those ladies too much. They grew so fast we had problems with heart attacks in the heat. So this flock will not sucker me into given them a lot of cracked corn. Too much candy! Anyway, these girls are going to get only the best! Fresh organic veggies straight from the garden! Today’s menu consists of chopped zucchini and lettuce covered with water and frozen into a cake pan!
Of course the girls were fascinated by the treat but too scared to eat it! I was so frustrated and concerned with them cooling off! You can hear it in my voice in the video!
But after I left them alone, they finally realized how good it was, because the tin I placed it in was completely beat up! It must have been a hit!
It’s 95 degrees today and the poor girls look very hot. Beaks hanging open, meandering around trying to find a spot in the deep shade. I knew this hot summer day was coming so pre-made a little treat that would help cool them off when the time came.
I found recipes from a few other blogs and decided to try it out. With many different types of cake pans I couldn’t resist making a frozen treat in a Christmas tree cake pan. It reminded me of the freezing cold winter which sounds pretty good right now!
The pan was filled with berries and chopped apples, then water was poured in until the pan was full. Sitting in the freezer for a couple days made it rock hard. This was perfect for crazy hot hens with fierce pointy beaks. They also needed a little entertainment.
The chickens are usually scared of anything new in their space and this was no different. They were so reluctant to walk up to it I had to encourage them by sprinkling their favorite scratch on it.
They carefully snuck up on the tree and delicately pecked off the scratch. Once they realized it wasn’t going to bite them it was a hit! The goal became to get through the ice to get themselves a berry. When one of the hens got to one they picked it up and immediately ran across the other side of the run with the others in chase! Rather than peck for their own berry, they’d rather steal the one everyone is after!
Silly girls. But at least their cool treat cooled them off!
Watch the girls as they try out their treat on their YouTube Channel:
This is the second spring snow and this time the ice on the top of the run grew so thick it collapsed the framework holding the top fencing up. Time to replace the frame with meta piping.The girls wouldn’t come out of the coop until they could see the sun. Luckily it only took a day.
There are days I hate the weather man. He is so excited talking about the record breaking low temperatures coming our way with no regard for people like me who can’t bring their animals inside the house for protection! Well….we already have heating panels, but how warm will they keep the coop when it’s a snowy negative 7 degrees outside?! My motherly instincts kicked in and I started to worry so much I couldn’t concentrate on anything but my girls.
I did a lot of online research on frostbite and most agreed it’s the humidity that increases the chances of frostbite, not the cold temperature. We got outdoor remote sensor thermometers with humidistat capability so now I could see what the temperature and humidity is both outside and inside the coop.
Something else I read is giving chickens high calorie, fatty foods will increase the body temperature and help them stay warmer. Those spoiled girls were in heaven! I think their favorite was when I made them warm oatmeal and threw in some chopped up apples we had frozen from our trees.
The freeze ran over 2 days and I hardly slept for 2 days. It seemed like every hour I was checking the temperature. When the temperature outside started dropping way below the temperature inside the of the coop, the humidity inside the coop soared to 94%! Yikes! This is why you don’t want to overheat the coop. The bigger the difference between the inside and the outside, the higher the humidity. I suffered all night wondering what I was going to find in the morning. Surprisingly, they were up, moving around ready for breakfast, not shivering in a corner.
I would not let the girls out of coop until those 2 days were over. They were so frustrated they started to peck at each other requiring me to pull out the chicken saddles again! They were soooooo ready to be out of there!
Finally, once the temperature was 9 degrees outside on the third morning, we got out before the sun came up and snow shoveled a path to the coop, then shoveled out a large area in the run. We covered the frozen ground with straw the so the girls could walk around without freezing their toes. As the sun started to come up I scattered chicken scratch, opened the chicken door and watched the happy girls escape their coop for the first time in 2 days! It was Glorious!
I learned a lot about what to do and not do for chickens in freezing weather and won’t need to stress out anymore!
See how happy the girls are when they finally get outside on their YouTube channel: